The top ten gambling cities on Earth
For those among us who fancy a flutter, the advent of the internet has provided a plethora of entertaining and exciting gambling opportunities – without even stepping out of the house. From real-time betting on sports like the Premier League and horse-racing, to the UK’s growing selection of bingo operators, going full-tilt has never been more accessible from the comfort of home. However, there are many destinations across the world thriving by specialising in the traditional analogue gambling experience. So, once you decide you’re ready to graduate from couch to casino, we recommend you look no further than these 10 cities for your next betting breakaway.
10) Sydney, Australia
While perhaps not known exclusively for its gambling like many of the household names on this list, Sydney, Australia is home to more than 10 top-class casinos and is one of the biggest-hitters in the southern hemisphere for gambling entertainment.
The jewel in the crown of the Sydney gaming scene is The Star casino, located a stone’s throw away from iconic Darling Harbour. The Star is host to 1500 gaming machines (known to the locals as ‘pokies’), as well as dozens of poker tables and over 100 live games.
9) Paris, France
Like Sydney, Paris needs no introduction on the global stage, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its own thriving gambling scene.
The French capital makes our list for its more refined approach to the industry, so you won’t find any slots located within the city boundaries. You’re equally unlikely to find many casinos in the Westernised form we associate them with, but you’ll find many ‘gaming clubs’, where card games like poker, tarot, bridge and rummy run right around the clock, as well as ‘Le Multicolore’, the most popular variant of roulette played in France.
8) Nassau, Bahamas
The epicentre of the Bahamian holiday scene, Nassau missed no opportunity to plant the gambling flag in its golden sands. The city hosts a selection of bombastic casino resorts, including – the Baha Mar, the Bet Vegas Casino a couple of miles west, and Island Luck, right in the heart of the city, as well as many others.
Perhaps most notable is the Atlantis Casino, which is located on the northern peninsula of Nassau, with a floorplan spanning a massive seven acres. Not bad for a city on an island only 11 miles wide!
7) San Jose, Costa Rica
Another holiday-resort-come-gamblers-paradise, San Jose offers an opportunity to top up your tan, as well as your bank account. The Costa Rican capital is home to over 35 casinos, with many existing as an annex to hotels within the city.
If you’re after a more low-key experience, San Jose may well be for you, and could possibly be the only city on this list where flip-flops and Bermuda shorts constitute ‘smart/casual’ attire.
As the financial powerhouse of South East Asia, it comes as no surprise that Singapore has a vibrant and pronounced gambling scene. Gambling in the city was legalised in 2005, but Singapore has already ranks #3 in the world for gross gaming revenue.
The Marina Bay Sands casino, which overlooks the annual Formula One night race, is one of the world’s leading venues. The décor of the casino resort, which holds well over 600 live gaming tables within its four levels, includes the world’s biggest Swarovski crystal chandeliers.
5) London, United Kingdom
London has a little of something for everyone, and that’s true of its casinos, too. From understated card clubs in the East End, to exclusive high-roller venues like the Park Lane Club, where membership costs £1000 alone, the British capital has you covered.
There are over 30 casinos in London, and ten times that amount in licensed card venues. If it’s a slots and shots experience you’re after, head to the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square.
4) Atlantic City, USA
Perhaps the lesser-known US destination, Atlantic City is still a powerhouse in the global stage. The New Jersey destination boasts some of Western gaming’s founding fraternities, including Caesar’s, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and a local favourite, Bally’s.
Offering everything from penny slots to high-roller poker, Atlantic City is one of the world’s leading gambling destinations, and recent investment into the city now allows for top-class shopping and entertainment experiences, too.
3) Monte Carlo, Monaco
The home of Europe’s 1%, Monte Carlo does not disappoint when it comes to its casinos. Portrayed in on-screen examples like Ocean’s Twelve and James Bond, the Casino de Monte Carlo is the absolute pinnacle of high-roller gambling.
While experiences in this principality don’t come cheap, they don’t come any better, either. There are five main casinos in the area, and they tend to open from early afternoon until the early hours, if you’ve got the cash.
2) Las Vegas, USA
The mecca of modern gaming, Vegas needs no introduction. The iconic strip in Nevada is home to all of the associated delights of casino gaming: slots, tables, roulette, blackjack, burlesque and beer.
The iconic architecture, including replicas of famous global attractions like the Eiffel Tower, makes for an all-sensory experience, and is surely #1 on most gamblers’ bucket list. The city is host to over 75 casinos, and exists almost exclusively to cater to groups making the pilgrimage from all corners of the globe.
1) Macau, China
The “Last Vegas of the East”, Macau has a unique and storied history, currently existing as an autonomous territory with its own currency. Gambling and tourism is said to bring in well over 50% of the country’s GDP, and over 70% of government revenues.
Perhaps not as well known as Vegas in Western culture, Macau has quietly surpassed Sin City as the world’s gambling capital – generating $28bn in gambling related revenues in 2016, compared with Vegas’ $11bn.